This picture is courtesy of Heartland Weim Rescue. Penny Lane was found wandering around a Kansas City, Missouri park. Her owner was not located. She has been rescued by Heartland. They were able to get surgery on her ears for serious infections and she has been well cared for in the home of Fred Linn since that time.
Billy Ray's service dog, Sheba, has been having increasing problems with her rear legs. We looked into surgery a couple of years ago and it was decided she didn't need it. By the time we noticed the deterioration it was decided it was too late to do it now. We have been considering options to train a backup but none materialized.
On May 14, 2004 I looked out the window to see Sheba pretty much dragging herself to the door. She sat at the bottom of the stairs in the entry way all weekend unable to climb to the main level. It was torture for both dog and owner.
On May 16, 2004 my friend Shela Nielsen forwarded me a post from the Weimaraners Group written by Fred Linn, about a foster Weim he thought was the perfect personality to be a therapy dog. I have had lots of contact with Fred Linn and Gail at Heartland Weim Rescue and with the veterinarian who treated Penny Lane. We have determined that she is a perfect match for Billy Ray's needs including the fact that she is hearing impaired so his constant noise will not bother her.
The Lord has worked out every detail including the timely trip home from Mid America Nazarene University by James Werbin, son of our former pastor. At this writing James has just picked up Penny Lane and she will be on her way home tomorrow. We will keep you apprised at her progress.
It is truly an example of the Lighthouse Concept in action. Shela had no way of knowing about Sheba's latest deterioration but forwarded the post she saw. Fred Linn had the insight into Penny's personality. We were worried about the cost of getting her here but the Lord even worked out transportation.
Please see the update on Penny Lane on my Parenting site regarding events since she arrived make us know she was meant to be with us.
Given the cost of purchasing a service dog and the difficulty of matching them to your complex child's needs, I am considering using Penny Lane is some of my seminars to help parents learn how to work with a service dog. Growing together will be posted on Parenting Your Complex Child. On this page I wanted to thank the Lord and all involved for pulling this together for Billy Ray and for Penny Lane.